Everlast is not only a hip-hop legend, but
also a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and multi-platinum artist. And now,
he's about to return with a brand-new album, Love, War and the Ghost of
Whitey Ford, which will be released early next year via management company
Three Ring Projects' innovative deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
"The sound is totally different than anything I've ever done before," says
Everlast, who recorded his first solo album in 1988 with Ice-T before
busting out a platinum album with the group House of Pain and its iconic
1992 hit, "Jump Around." "I think people are hungry for good music and I
believe I made a really good album. All I can say is I feel good."
Masterminded by Three Ring Projects' Jeff Rabhan, the deal follows on the
heels of a similar arrangement with American Idol star Elliott Yamin, whose
self-titled debut debuted #3 on the Billboard 200, and is now over 350k in
"This new model gives the artist significant input into the creative,
marketing and promotion of his music," explains Rabhan. "The deal is
structured as a partnership that allows Everlast to be involved as a
creative partner in the album's financial success."
"I've been making albums long enough to know nothing is guaranteed," says
Everlast. "But I've got a feeling in my bones that I don't get very often
and I like it."
Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford was co-produced by Everlast with his
longtime partner Keefus Ciancia, whose credits include T-Bone Burnett. It's
the logical sequel to his 1998 solo breakthrough, Whitey Ford Sings the
Blues, an eclectic mix of rock, blues, country, pop and hip-hop, which
cracked the Billboard Top 10 and sold more than 2 million on the strength of
its crossover Top 40 hit, "What It's Like." The following year, Everlast's
collaboration with rock legend Carlos Santana, "Put Your Lights On," earned
him a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. His
last two albums were the critically acclaimed Eat at Whitey's (2000) and
White Trash Beautiful (2004).
More recently, Everlast was recruited by Nancy Miller, creator and executive
producer for the TNT series Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter, to create
the theme song for the show. "The second I heard his voice, I went crazy
over it," she says. "He has such a sexy, interesting vocal. I fell in love
with his music. His lyrics speak so much to the struggle of Grace-her pain,
her heroic nature-that I immediately connected to them."
The experience was also a positive one for the singer/songwriter, who is now
in discussion about scoring the show. "I'd love to be Danny Elfman, sit in
the studio all day," he says. "There's a lot less pressure than having to
write lyrics and songs. And I'm such a fan of movies, to see what the music
really does, before and after, is pretty cool."
With the album complete, though, Everlast is ready to hit the road. He has
already undertaken some "mash-up" performances with Ciancia and Cypress
Hill's DJ Muggs.
"I just want to go out and play to as many people as I can," he says.
"That's what the album's for. I don't care if I sell a million records, but
if I can get a million people to come out and see me, that's even better."